Gum disease is the swelling or soreness of the gums around your teeth. Gum disease is caused by the bacteria that is present in plaque, or the sticky substance that forms on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque produces toxins that can lead to gum inflammation, which causes our gums to become red and bleed when we brush or floss. If plaque is not removed effectively, it can cause the gums to pull away from our teeth and cause pockets in which more bacteria can collect. Plaque that is not removed can also harden or mineralize into hard calculus. These pockets and calculus are hard to remove with brushing and flossing at home, and require help from a dentist with a professional dental cleaning. If left untreated, periodontal disease can develop and damage the structures that support our teeth, such as the bone.
All periodontics services are provided by Dr. Daniel Indech
The stage of gum disease that is reversible is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by the bacteria found in plaque and causes our gums to become swollen, irritated and can cause our gums to bleed. Gingivitis only affects our gums and is reversible with proper brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to the dentist for your cleaning.
The beginning of periodontal disease is known as early periodontitis. This occurs when gingivitis is long standing and the inflammation progresses into the supporting structures of the teeth. Unlike gingivitis, the bone begins to become affected. In early periodontitis the gums that are inflamed begin to pull away from the teeth due to pockets that are harboring bacteria. This persistent inflammation also causes bone loss around the teeth.
If early periodontitis is left untreated, it can progress to moderate periodontitis. Continued inflammation causes more destruction to the supporting structures of the teeth. There is more notable bone loss which can cause the teeth to become loose.
If moderate periodontitis if left untreated, it can progress to severe periodontitis. Bone loss and tooth mobility increases. If you have severe periodontitis, you may experience pain while chewing, bad breath, and a bad taste in your mouth. Eventually, tooth loss will occur.
More advanced forms of periodontal disease will require cleanings that go more deeply below the gum, called a deep cleaning. This is the only way to effectively remove the plaque or calculus that is present in the periodontal pocket.
Active periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation in the gums. The immune cells and the byproducts of the inflammatory cascade in the diseased, inflamed gum tissues can re-enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. Researchers have linked the presence of elevated levels of inflammatory cells, chemical mediators and the waste byproducts of inflammation that are circulating in the bloodstream to a number of serious medical conditions. It is important to treat periodontal disease as early and quickly as possible to reduce inflammation so that elevated levels of harmful cells, chemicals and hormones in the blood are minimized.
Periodontal disease is no longer thought to be just a dental problem. Researchers are finding many correlations between periodontal infection and serious medical problems.
Research using DNA testing has found that 80% of all periodontal disease comes from bacteria transmitted from a parent or spouse. Patients with periodontal disease can pass their infection along to their loved ones.